Julie Carter is a New Mexico writer and author whose column appears weekly on Rio Grande Digital.
Saddle up boys, here it comes again. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. It’s the day the entire world is painted with red and pink hearts and accented with roses and chocolate.
Whether this ever-looming V-day is a ploy to stimulate the economy at an otherwise sluggish time of year or an actual holiday to honor the long forgotten patron saint of love, it most definitely puts the pressure on the couples of the world.
I asked one old cowboy what he thought about Valentine’s Day. His reply was well-thought-out honesty. “Not much. I don’t think about it at all. You don’t want to get that started– birthdays, Valentine’s and all those holidays. If you never start paying attention to them, then she never expects it.”
Saint Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome when Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers so he outlawed marriage for young men that were military potentials.
Valentine defied Claudius and continued to perform secret marriages for young lovers. When he was caught, Claudius ordered him put to death.
The legend says that Valentine actually sent the first “valentine” greeting himself. While in prison awaiting his execution, he fell in love with a young girl who visited him every day. Before his death, he wrote a letter that he signed “From your Valentine.”
There will be some “romantic” gestures made by those residing at the end of dirt roads where the moon kisses the stars while the howl of a lone coyote breaks the silence of night.
Not likely to be wine and roses, however, a cowboy on a Valentine’s Day date will offer a romantic late night walk through the frosty pastures for a “just once more” check of the cows. After all, it is calving season.
I got a Valentine card one time that was written in Spanish because that was what was left at the store in town. It said something about my corazón and forever. My cowboy ate the chocolates on the way back to the ranch and, with no apology, told me he knew I was on a diet and he sure didn’t want be responsible for any failure.
A veteran ranch wife who is still waiting for her cowboy to grow up, phoned me and the topic of Valentine’s Day came up. I ventured to ask if she had received a gift from her love of 35 years.
“Well, he did ask if I wanted something,” she said. “But after my Christmas gift, I was afraid to let him think it was time for another gift.”
I asked the obvious, “What did you get for Christmas?”
“He brought me a cat from the pound.”
“Did you ask for a cat or even want a cat?”
“No to both. This gift just fit his budget. It was free.”
It’s those tender moments of adoring love that make a gal think seriously about returning the sentimental thought with something equally as endearing as a well-timed “Well, kiss my corazón …. dear!”
Julie can be reached for comment at firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit her website at http://julie-carter.com/